NHL Hockey Betting: New York Islanders at Boston Bruins

NHL Hockey Betting:  New York Islanders at Boston Bruins

The more things change the more they stay the same. The Boston Bruins are repeating their strange dynamic of recent seasons playing better on the road than at home. At the TD Garden the Bruins are 8-8-0. The New York Islanders, on the other hand, have been playing poorly overall–at least relative to their 100 point season of a year ago. They’re just 2-7-2 away from the Barclays Center. Boston is currently in third place in the Atlantic Division trying to run down Ottawa and Montreal while the Islanders are at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division trying to pick off the teams above them and move within sight of the five team lead pack in the division. Neither team has been in good form of late with the Islanders losing five straight and the Bruins dropping 5 of their last 7.

The Bruins will start Tuuka Rask in net and he’s been very good this year with a record of 16-5-3 to go along with a 1.82 goals against average and a 0.932 save percentage. He’s also got four shutouts and the ability to keep his team in games every night even when they’re not playing particularly well. More specifically, he keeps his team in games when they’re not scoring goals–the Bruins are #27 in scoring in the NHL putting up just 2.17 goals per game. They’ve got the #8 scoring defense in the league allowing just 2.36 goals per game. Of course when the former number is smaller than the latter there’s a problem.

The Islanders will start Thomas Greiss who has been mediocre at best though spent the first month of the season in the starting role with Jaroslav Halak sidelined. Greiss is 6-5-0 with a 2.67 goals against average and a 0.912 save percentage. Tough handicap. Statistically, everything seems to favor Boston and they’ve been better in head to head play winning 5 of the last 6 meetings. They also won all three meetings last year. The Islanders haven’t shown a tendency to bounce back from bad losses this season with a record of 1-7 after a loss of 2 goals or more and a record of 3-8 after allowing 4 or more goals. Not particularly happy about it given their home struggles but we’ll back Boston.